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Prime Minister announces new Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism

OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 16, 2023 /CNW/ - In the wake of Hamas' large-scale terrorist attacks against Israel, the world was again reminded that antisemitism is not a relic of the past ? it is a daily reality experienced by Jewish communities here in Canada and around the world. Antisemitism is not a problem for the Jewish community to confront alone. We all have an obligation to continue to speak up against it wherever and whenever it occurs.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the appointment of Deborah Lyons as Canada's new Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism. Ms. Lyons will serve for a term of two years.

A respected diplomat with 25 years of experience in international relations, political affairs, security management, and development, Ms. Lyons previously served as Ambassador of Canada to Israel. She is a firm ally to the Jewish community and has a strong history of working with community organizations. Most recently, she supported peace and stabilization efforts in Afghanistan as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

As Canada's Special Envoy, Ms. Lyons will lead efforts to combat antisemitism and preserve Holocaust remembrance here at home and around the world. She will serve as the head of Canada's delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and will work with domestic and international partners to strengthen and promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research worldwide, while continuing to implement our pledges from the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism.

The Prime Minister thanked the Honourable Irwin Cotler for his tireless contributions and leadership as Canada's first Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, from 2020 to 2023. Mr. Cotler played a critical role in working to ensure the painful lessons of the Holocaust and the memories of those who lived through it are never forgotten. His leadership through a period of rising antisemitism, including co-chairing the National Summit on Antisemitism, will have a lasting impact on the government's efforts to combat hate, however it may surface. 

"Today, in the aftermath of the horrific attacks against Israel, we reiterate to Jewish communities across Canada that we are standing with them. Ms. Lyons will be a critical voice in fighting antisemitism and preserving the memory of the Holocaust so that younger generations know the truth about what happened ? and how antisemitism continues today. We all must confront antisemitism, hatred, and intolerance in all its forms so we can build a better, safer future for everyone."
? The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

"Antisemitism is a daily reality for too many people from Jewish communities in Canada and around the world. The agonizing grief caused by the Hamas attacks on Israelis earlier this month must propel us to move forward together to combat antisemitism. I am proud to accept this role and responsibility, and I am committed to working with all levels of government, institutions, and stakeholders to promote Holocaust awareness and combat antisemitism here in Canada and abroad. By learning from our past, I believe that we can and will build a more just and inclusive future for all."
? Deborah Lyons, Canada's Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism

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SOURCE Prime Minister's Office

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